Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cellar Door Provisions

I have been very interested in Cellar Door Provisions since it opened a couple of years ago.  The problem is that as it a breakfast/lunch place, I can't get there during the week and as it is very popular, I can't get in on the weekend.  Recently though, something happened that gave me a free morning during the week, so I decided to check it out.  Having looked at the menu before hand, I expected a small place with a coffee shop cafe feel.  Located on a corner, it has large windows on two sides and looks like a neighborhood coffee shop with a handwritten menu on paper in the window.  Walking in continued the coffee shop vibe with a small cafe.  There is art on the wall (for sale) and seating is with banquette and tables on both sides of the room.  There is another chalkboard menu at the back of the room on one side.  There is a counter at the back of the room that abuts the open kitchen where yet another menu is available if you hadn't seen the other two. The counter contains a display case showing their available pastries, most of which run to the savory side.  The pastries all looked very good and while I recognized the Caneles and the Croissants, which I ordered, there were several pastries that I did not recognize, but still looked really good.  Caneles are small French pastries about two inches tall that look like mini bundt cakes.  They are made with vanilla and rum and have a crispy outside crust and a firm custard center.  While they do have a sweetness about them,  they are also pretty savory.  For the one that I ordered the crust was very crisp and the inside was like a solid egg custard.  there was some sweetness, but it was also salty and savory.  I liked it so much that I had to buy another one for the road.  The croissant was flaky, buttery, and crisp, and while it was pretty big, it was also very light.  With these, I had an iced coffee.
While the pastries were very good, I wanted to try some of their "real" food.  This is not to say that their pastries were bad, in fact, they were pretty fantastic.  Substantial might have been a better word.  Their cafe menu is pretty veggie friendly although they do have some dishes with meat as well.  I went with something that was not strictly vegetarian, but it was pescatarian.  I got Cured Trout with Whipped Cheese, Ponzu, Bok Choi, Soft Boiled Egg, and Seared Bread.  The trout was very tender and flavorful in a flavorful broth with whipped cheese.  The cheese was a bit tart and kind of tasted like goat cheese (although I am not certain of this) which paired well with the trout.  The ponzu and bok choi were served on top and were very crisp and fresh.  The soft boiled egg was cooked well with a solid white and thick but liquid yolk.  The bread was crisp and tasted like it had just been baked.  It was very good, but it came in very handy to soak up the broth and yolk.  This also was pretty fantastic.

I really enjoyed my breakfast here and now understand why it is so popular.  I will definitely return if I happen to have another free weekday for the pastries if nothing else, but the cafe menu will certainly deserve a look.        

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